Thursday, June 23, 2005

Batman Begins, Are we Happy about That? I think so. Carol, Mary, our friend Ron, and I saw it last night. The acting made you connect with the characters and helped the film involve you in its "plausible implausibility", but its the first film that I have seen in a long time where I just did not get some of the things that were happening.

[Warning: The following comments give away great portions of the plot. So if you haven't seen it, maybe you should stop reading.]

For example, now and then Batman is able to overhear conversations by way of some sort of handheld radio. (I wonder what his call sign is? Does he ever get on HF? CW or phone? What does he think of PSK? He apparently builds some of his own stuff, which is cool.) But I don't understand where the pick-up is on the other end of the conversation. I missed something. Maybe someone can help me.

I liked the Batmobile, although I understand that it has been a subject of some controversy. We will surely see a smaller version at RadioShack before Christmas. Can't wait.

The greatest creation was the elevated train. And the sets otherwise were great.

At first I thought that Katie Holmes was nowhere near Kirsten Durst, but as the movie developed I warmed to her. She was best in that last scene, where she says a number of things to Bruce Wayne which made no sense to me, but she delivered those lines in a profoundly charming way. I would have lost the cape at that point, Bruce. Something must have happened on that trek up the mountain with the flower.

Did you notice the little .38 that Bruce carried into the court room? (No metal detectors?) It had an exposed hammer. That's a no-no for a carry. Obviously, his education at Princeton was deficient.

I was surprised that the monks up in the monestary turned into what they insisted they were not: murderous vigilantes. The turn of events where Bruce sets the place on fire pushed me outside for a moment, where I simply shook my head, and then returned inside the movie. Didn't Bruce see that coming? Where did those guys connect spiritually? Where did they get their idea that evil is bad and good is good? Maybe it was the lack of oxygen up there on the mountain. And then Liam turns up as the over-arching bad guy at the end of the film. I did not see that coming, and I'm pretty good at figuring these things out. But it was after 9:00 PM when we got into the second half of the movie, so I was in a shut-down mode. But really, that twist didn't make a lot of sense to me.

Liam, apparently, now has the wise mentor franchise. I wonder if he would come down to Miami and give me a hand with Juan.

In some of the scenes where Batman is in full regalia and he is talking to someone, I wanted to jump up on the screen and adjust his mask. It looked a little askew. But maybe its the same sort of thing as guys wearing their baseball caps with the bill askew.

The fight scenes shot with a handheld got a little tedious. (It takes me back to the battle scene in Gladiator, which is probably where the director got that approach.) The first time was interesting in the prison yard, but after that I wanted to step back and see what was going on. I guess the people from the Matrix franchise were busy.

You had to like the major Gotham villain. I hated to see him end up tied down to a chair muttering "scarecrow". In with a bang, out with a whimper. That first scene in the restaurant was a classic. I hope they bring him back. (I think my liking for him is a generational thing: Middle aged guy setting the young buck straight. You have to like that when, next month, you turn 59.)

The psychiatrist villain reminds me of the sort of person who works at Starbucks. Is there some connection? I couldn't figure out who was more beautiful, he or Katie. I'm not talking about where I would want to go with a relationship with one or the other. I'm just looking at the question objectively.

What was Liam thinking as the train went into space? (Maybe: "Will they remember me in this or will they remember me in Schindler's List? I know they won't remember me in Star Wars I, which is somewhat of a relief. But what about this one? I'm concerned.") The director stole that idea from Michael Mann, who always gives the villain just a moment of introspection before he steps out of this life.

Batman's voice was a little contrived, I thought. But maybe the suit was a little tight around the neck.

"Is it what you do or who you are?" (And the answer is . . . ) Weren't you surprised that Batman let the cat out of the bag to Katie? Given what she thought of him as Bruce Wayne, I certainly would have. But this violates all superhero conventions. I guess this little development, going against that particular convention, is what made the whole movie seem so real to me. No question about what I would do. "Katie, its me in here, Bruce. Are you free for dinner, tonight?")

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